Every NFL team has its legendary signal-callers to look back upon. The Niners and Joe Montana, the Raiders and Rich Gannon, and the Bears and… uh… Jim McMahon? Regardless, every NFL team has a great quarterback they look back upon. Today, We’ll single out five such quarterbacks from Broncos history and rank them. The criteria are based on team success, statistics, and my opinion. Let me know how you feel in the comments. The rankings are based on production with the Denver Broncos, not their whole career. All stats are via PFR.
Honorable Mention: Tim Tebow
It’s hard for me to find a place for Tebow on this list. While, sure, he had a magical stretch in 2011, and even won a playoff game. This much we know. But, one season of subpar to mediocre production doesn’t give me a reason to put him on this list. Listen, I love Tebow as much as the next guy, but these numbers really aren’t pretty, or top-five worthy.
- 8-6 Career record
- 49.7% Completion rate
- 2422 Passing Yards
- 17 Touchdowns/9 Interceptions
- 165 Carries, 887 Yards, 12 touchdowns
- 6 Comebacks/6 Game-Winning drives
- One Playoff win
Number five: Brian Griese
Brian Griese had MASSIVE shoes to fill after John Elway called it a career. In my eyes, Griese was a better Trevor Siemian with a better supporting cast. His arm wasn’t amazing, he wasn’t crazy athletic, and he was injured quite often, but he was decent. His 2000 season was solid and efficient, despite only playing in ten games. 19 Touchdowns to only 4 interceptions to couple with 2,688 yards is nothing to scoff at. Assuming he held that pace through 16 games, he could’ve turned in a 4,300-yard season, with 30 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, give or take one or two. He likely could’ve won MVP, but that is neither here nor there. Here’s the rest of his resume.
- 27-24 Record
- 62.2% Completion rate
- 11,763 Yards
- 71 Touchdowns/53 Interceptions
- 3 Comebacks/5 Game-Winning Drives
- 166 Carries, 516 Yards, 5 touchdowns
- No Playoff appearance
Number four: Jake Plummer
Ol’ Jake the Snake. Plummer would provide the one and only Broncos Playoff win of the 2000s, a divisional round win against New England in ’05. His solid play in the orange and blue would send Denver to the playoffs in three of his four seasons as starting quarterback, although two of those trips ended in blowout fashion at the hands of the Colts. His lone Pro-Bowl season, the aforementioned ’05 campaign, was an efficient and steady season, where Plummer threw for 3366 yards, 18 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions. Here is the rest of Plummer’s resume.
- 39-15 Record
- 59.1% Completion rate
- 11631 Yards
- 71 Touchdowns/41 Interceptions
- 5 Comebacks/10 Game-Winning Drives
- 181, 670 Yards, 7 Touchdowns
- 1 Playoff Win
Number three: Craig Morton
Morton was the first Broncos quarterback to start and play in a Superbowl. I wish I could say his day on the big stage went better. While Denver lost Superbowl 12, they would find consistent success with Morton under center from 1977 until 1981, his last great season. Morton brought stability to an orginazation that had been the epitome of a quarterback carousel. Here is his resume.
- 41-23 Record
- 56.9% Completion Rate
- 11895 Yards
- 74 Touchdowns/65 Interceptions
- 7 Comebacks/14 Game-Winning Drives
- 100 Carries, 256 Yards, 6 Touchdowns
- 2 Playoff Wins
Number two: Peyton Manning
The Sherriff was nothing short of phenomanal during his tenure in Denver. His Pre-Snap IQ made it so Denver basically had an OC on the sidelines and on the field. It would’ve been awesome to see Peyton and the Broncos win a title in 2013, when Peyton led that Historic Offense, but He’d get one in 2015 before riding into the sunset. I became a Broncos fan during the Tebow years, so seeing Manning sling around the ball for four seasons was and still is special to me. All of that aside, here is his resume.
The Sherriff’s Resume
- 45-12 Record
- 66.5% Completion Rate
- 17112 Yards
- 140 Touchdowns/53 Interceptions
- 9 Comebacks/9 Game-Winning Drives
- 85 Carries, -55 Yards, 1 Touchdown
- 5 Playoff Wins, 1 Super Bowl Victory
Number one: John Elway
The Unquestioned #1 quarterback in Broncos History is John Elway. Elway carried some lackluster 80’s teams into super bowls that they never would have sniffed without him. Elway was the Broncos, and his rocket right arm carried him for 16 seasons, into five super bowl appearences and two victories. #7 will always be revered in Denver. Here is his resume.
- 148-82-1 Record
- 56.9% Completion Rate
- 51475 Yards
- 300 Touchdowns/226 Interceptions
- 31 Comebacks, 40 Game-Winning Drives
- 774 Carries, 3407 Yards, 33 Touchdowns
- 14 Playoff Wins, 2 Super Bowl Victories
That concludes this list. If you want to see more Fantom, go here!